The T20 World Cup has been rocked by another rule book drama as Pakistan kept their semi-final hopes alive with a win over South Africa on Thursday night.
Shadab Khan starred with bat and ball as Pakistan secured a rain-affected 33-run win to stay in contention to advance to the knockout stages.
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With Pakistan needing a win to remain a chance of progressing, Shadab whacked 52 from 22 balls to help his side take 117 runs from the final 10 overs and post 9-185 at the SCG.
As South Africa began to edge ahead of the par score with rain falling in Sydney, the leg-spinner took two crucial wickets in his first over to put Pakistan back in front with South Africa 4-69.
Players were soon forced from the field for close to an hour, and when play resumed the wickets meant the Proteas' equation went from 117 needed off 66 balls to an unlikely 73 off 30.
Shaheen Shah Afridi (3-14) also struck early after the break to halt any hopes South Africa had of a late charge, before they finished at 9-108 after their 14 overs and 33 runs behind.
Pakistan's win didn't come without some major confusion after Mohammad Nawaz was dismissed in farcical fashion late in their innings.
Nawaz was given out lbw by the on-field umpire despite replays showing he'd edged the ball before it hit his pad. During the confusion of the appeal Nawaz was also run-out while trying to get back into his ground.
Nawaz appeared to realise he'd edged the ball, but didn't opt to use the DRS for the lbw decision because he thought he'd been run-out anyway. However under ICC rules, the ball is deemed dead once an on-field umpire gives a decision of out.
Mohammad Nawaz was given LBW on-field by the umpire and he got run-out after that.
He would have survived if he had reviewed the decision.#MohammadNawaz #T20WorldCup #PAKvSA #cricketTwitter pic.twitter.com/LHpnVZy0ck
— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) November 3, 2022
If Nawaz reviewed the lbw decision he would've been given not out and the run-out would have been void, a fact not lost on fans and commentators.
"That has to be among the stranger dismissals I have seen. Can understand Nawaz not realising the umpire had given him out lbw but Iftikhar would have known. Or did he miss it too? A review would have saved the batter," tweeted Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle.
That has to be among the stranger dismissals I have seen. Can understand Nawaz not realising the umpire had given him out lbw but Iftikhar would have known. Or did he miss it too? A review would have saved the batter
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 3, 2022
Fans were critical of the fact Nawaz didn't appear to know the rules, while others suggested the umpire should have informed Pakistan of the protocol.
If Nawaz was retreating after the umpire raised his finger and he was run out and chose to not review based on that, that was an error on his part. The ball would have been dead when the finger was raised
— Abhimanyu Bose (@bose_abhimanyu) November 3, 2022
— Haroon (@hazharoon) November 3, 2022
Lmao why didn't Nawaz review that? Had he reviewed it, he would have been given not out for LBW and the ball would have been dead without the run out being counted.
Now i am convinced they don't know half the rules. 🤦♂️
— Anuj Nitin Prabhu 🏏 (@APTalksCricket) November 3, 2022
This Nawaz dismissal shows you about the game awareness of our players. He though he was run out and walked away without taking the review even though he had clearly edged it
— Salaar (@salaar54) November 3, 2022
The Nawaz dismissal was a weird one. The 1st decision stands- even though it was wrong. Cannot be given run out. Unfortunately if he had waited and asked for DRS,he would have been saved. #PAKvsSA
— Abhinav Mukund (@mukundabhinav) November 3, 2022
Ok back to the told rule book.
Big mistake from Nawaz there I think. If he had reviewed the LBW decision, which he wouldn't have been out because of an edge, ball would have been dead at the point of original decision. And the run out would not have counted.#T20WorldCup pic.twitter.com/is7ywsXdUb
— Vinayakk (@vinayakkm) November 3, 2022
How can an international player be so unawre of laws? Nawaz was given LBW, when the umpire signaled out, the ball was dead and after the ball was dead, the fielder got him run out. Here Nawaz felt that he was run out but as per rule, he was not out. #PAKvSA #PAKvsSA #T20WorldCup pic.twitter.com/qPvBJKwSEE
— Ahmad Haseeb (@iamAhmadhaseeb) November 3, 2022
THEY SHOULD BE AWARE OF THEGAME
— Rehma (@ShaziaA79278457) November 3, 2022
He hit that!! I can't believe Nawaz didn't review. Given out LBW and Pakistan are 5/95 #T20WorldCup
— Davis Harrigan (Digi) 🏏 (@DeadlineDavis) November 3, 2022
Pakistan keep faint T20 World Cup hopes alive
Batting first, Pakistan slumped to 4-43 early when Anrich Nortje (4-41) took control, as Babar Azam's miserable World Cup continued with just six runs. For a long time considered the best Twenty20 batter in the world, Babar's tournament now reads 14 runs from four innings at a strike-rate of 46.66.
With the ball, Shadab removed Bavuma (36) caught behind and bowled Aiden Markram (20) in his first three balls to end their 49-run third-wicket stand and turn the match in Pakistan's favour before the rain.
"I didn't think about the rain. I had simple plans and just bowled at the stumps," Shadab said. "In internationals, that was definitely my best innings."
The win moves Pakistan to four points in group two, needing to beat Bangladesh on Sunday and have South Africa or India be upset by Netherlands or Zimbabwe respectively with a net run-rate swing.
The equation is more simple for the Proteas - if they beat Zimbabwe, they are through.
"As a team, if you are going to lose it is probably now," South African captain Temba Bavuma said.
"Looking at our next game, it is must-win for us and the play-off games will be as well. I don't think it is a concern ... Maybe it is a performance we needed to bring us back down to earth."
The result also means India are in the box seat to top group two and likely face England or Australia in next week's semi-final.
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